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The Pollinator Connection: Bee native

By Kristina Lefever for the Tidings December 31, 2019 ~

I was in Los Angeles for a few days recently -- how different it is from where we live! Different is an understatement, right?

Granted, my wandering consisted of a 15 minute Uber ride for a few (organic) items for my hotel refrigerator, but I saw enough to know that few places — and far between — provide support for native pollinators and birds in that huge metropolis. Maybe all the gardens are up with honey bee hives on rooftops?

I was quite happy to leave the City of Angels behind and return to our beautiful valley, with people who care about preserving our open spaces before they are gone. Because that’s the conundrum, is it not? People move to a place because of how it is ... and it ends up how it was. (I hope Ashland leaders and residents keep this in mind as we create the future for our beautiful town.)

Sadly, LA is no exception to what is happening all over this country.

You’ve heard of the “insect apocalypse?”

Both species and individuals of almost all insects have declined drastically over the past several decades as their habitat disappears. Bees, butterflies, moths and dung beetles are especially vulnerable, which also is impacting birds and other wildlife.

The good news is that many native bee species do well within urban environments and with non-native plants. OSU in Corvallis is conducting a number of studies about the species of bees found in urban backyards, as well as identif